Failure to act against Jiba, Mrwebi harmed NPA - Nxasana tells state capture commission

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Lawrence Mrwebi (Photo: Herman Verwey)
Lawrence Mrwebi (Photo: Herman Verwey)

Former National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana has told the state capture commission of inquiry that a failure to act against senior prosecutors Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, who have since been fired, harmed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Nxasana was testifying for a second time before inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

"The failure to act decisively against advocates Jiba and Mrwebi in particular, harmed the organisation," he said.

"Political and external interference in decision-making at the NPA undermined its integrity and effectiveness and served to erode public confidence in the organisation."

Nxasana said while he was still in office, the parliamentary committee on justice "did little or nothing" to intervene in issues concerning the two advocates. 

READ | Jiba, Mrwebi 'were bragging' that nothing would happen to them, state capture inquiry hears

In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa fired Jiba and Mrwebi, after retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro recommended that he sack them from the NPA, following an inquiry. The inquiry found that both of them were "not fit and proper to hold their respective offices", according to a statement from the Presidency.

Meanwhile, Parliament's process to consider Ramaphosa's decision has been put on ice until, at the earliest, September 19, News24 previously reported.

The parties involved in Jiba's urgent application for an interdict to halt the process agreed to an order that suspends it until September 19, when the first part of Jiba's application will be heard.

On Monday morning, Nxasana also took the state capture commission through the settlement amount he received from former president Jacob Zuma to vacate office. He said he did not "put any barrel of a gun to anyone to pay me that money".

In 2015, Nxasana received the R17m golden handshake when he left office. After tax, he received R10m, News24 previously reported.

He added that he never said, at any stage, that he wanted to step down from his position.

Nxasana said at the time, former Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe raised the issue that he should step down.

The former NDPP told the commission that he insisted, both at a meeting and in a letter to Radebe, that he would not resign as he believed he was fit to hold office. 

He said Zuma later asked him to resign, adding that the former president's attorney at the time, Michael Hulley, also expressed Zuma's unhappiness with him.

"I was literally fired with no fault [on] my part," he said. 

Asked if he paid back the amount which the Constitutional Court ordered him to pay in August 2018, Nxasana said he hadn't.

"Because I don't have it," he added.

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